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  1. #1

    Default Google Nexus 7 as my Headunit

    I am undertaking a seriously ambitious project and I would like to ask for some suggestions. I have, for a while, wanted to get rid of the crap sock unit in my truck and replace it with something more flexible, user centric, and all around prettier. So, I soon began to lean towards double din units, but those can cost into the multiple of hundreds or even thousands of dollars. So I put this on the back burner. Then when I purchased my new 7" Google Nexus tablet I had a thought....Why not set up a way to use my tablet and make it removable. This tablet has better GPS reception than my Garmin unit with constantly updated maps (w/o having to buy new maps), access to my music through Google Music (and my wirelessly tethered phone’s webz access), FM radio receiver, and a slew of other features that even the most advanced double din units simply cannot compete against. So why not I ask....well therein lays the rub.

    Now, how to install it AND have it still run my system. This is one area where the touch screen DDin units have the tablet; they can push speakers or at least hook to amps and the like. Through countless hours of internet research and old fashioned problem solving I have come up with a few ways to make this work....I would like your thoughts and if you are smarter than me with this stuff; your suggestions!

    Tablet install Options
    Option A Option B Option C
    Install Method · Run cable though glove box or center of dash and into H.U.
    · The place mount where it suits my fancy
    · Remove OEM H.U.
    · Install new wiring harness
    · install new H.U. with modified recessed mount to allow room for tablet mount.
    · Run wires and cable and power for both devices
    · Secure modified tablet mount to interior of dash
    · Place tablet in mount for fit and useability
    HEH…hopefully find a good tutorial, pray it comes out looking half as good , OR find a friend that can do this and provide beer, wings, and pizza as needed!
    Cost $ $$ $$$$
    Tech Level Easy Moderate God of the install
    Equip. Req. · 1 extra long audio cable
    · Dash Mount for 7” tablet
    · Better/smaller head unit that supports Bluetooth pairing.
    · Recessed mounting bracket
    · New wires/wiring harness
    · Modified table mount to fit “hole” in dash from recessed H.U.
    · Custom Dash Inlay or custom dash modification (makes it easily removable. Got the idea from here )
    · 7 Channel EQ (i.e. Audison Bit1)
    · Wiring harness
    · Power connection
    · USB harness (for ODB II connector)
    · Audio cable
    Sound Quality Meh Hey, not bad This ‘ish is AWESOME
    Usability Hey, it doesn’t fall off while driving Pretty much glitch free Factory Level
    Cool Factor Did you even try? Da ‘Fonz endorses “HEEEEEEY” Maverick and Goose appear singing “great balls of fire” while F-14 scream overhead.

  2. #2
    Master Mechanic zigger215's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Fairbanks, Alaska


    Your post got all messed up in some kinda weird coding. Anyways, if you're installing a tablet because its cool then there are all kinds of ways to make it work. If you're installing it because you THINK it will be cheaper then a double never gonna happen, that is an expensive dash and electric mod.

  3. #3


    You make a really good point. My focus is not cost overall but cost and return on cost. Having a tablet that is remove able and usable as a HU. A tablet is a better return on investment then a expensive but static DDin unit. Do you have any suggestions on a good way to approach this install?

  4. #4


    I think option 2 is the best mix of practicality and function. Option 3 will cost thousands and in the end all you could buy a double din head unit that can sync with your tablet. Any who, with Bluetooth anything can be possible because you can link audio. I have heard of people using a Bluetooth single din radio to stream their music to their sound system with out any problem.

    1996 Chevy Tahoe LT 5.7L V8 4X4 205,000+ miles. Built proudly at Janesville Assembly in Janesville, Wisconsin
    Basic mods: Lights all over, bunch of electrical work, and a couple cooling mods.

    Check out my other mods in My Garage:

  5. #5
    Master Mechanic zigger215's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Fairbanks, Alaska


    The premise is fairly simple. First you need to find an installer who can fabricate with fiber glass. Fiber glass is the best way to get a clean, factory or custom look. Next you need to look for an audio processor, there are many companies who make these, Rockford, kicker, JL and many others who simply specialize in processors. You will also need the harness it that will go from your tablet to the processor. The processor is what give you your speakers and RCA preamp outputs.

  6. #6

    Enkeiavalanche's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Piermont,NY, back in Northern NJ now, But may be in IL soon....


    You might want to see this.. This is Dave (fishman) Revera

    I have met him and seen a lot of his installs over the years.. This one is sick..

    - - - Updated - - -

    here it is done...
    08 Z71 Avalanche Mods to date: K&N CAI,Hellwig Swaybars and End Links, Corsa Sport Exhaust, Superchips Programer,IPCW LOF & 3rd brake light and tails, AMI Gas door,Show Hooks and Door locks, Enkei Wheels, with Pirelli tires, StreetScene Bowties, Grant Steering wheel,Muth signal mirrors,SSBC Big Brake kit,Huskyliner Mug gards,Floor mats and Hood shield, McGard Lug nuts and locks, Bedrug, Cervini's Ram Air hood,35watt HID Fog lights, Sylvania bulbs all around ZXE's Highs and Lows, WhiteNight Back up lights,Sirius and HD Radio, SnugTop sitting on deck now Got a Softopper on now,Tempress Boat Hatches.... New Bilstein shocks are on... New Mods coming soon..... X

  7. #7


    Have you considered what you want in 2-5 years time? Installing a tablet in the dash might be 'cool' right now, but if you do it yourself, it may take you quite some time to complete it, and you may get tired with the hardware fairly quickly. Tablets are built just like phones. They're meant to be fads that you constantly upgrade, not something you buy and stick with for 10 years. If you build a custom dash to fit the tablet you have now, it might not fit the one you upgrade to. Or the cable pinouts might change. You're basically going to spend a few thousand dollars to have something you can't upgrade.

    With a single or double-DIN head unit install, you can pull it out and replace everything in 2 years if you get bored of it and want to upgrade, or something breaks and you need to start replacing parts. With a custom dash designed around a specific model of tablet, that's going to be much harder to do.

  8. #8


    I say you should build it so it can be up-graded easily. The best way to do that is find a USB interface or Bluetooth interface that allows your tablet to easily connect to the radio and the same can be done with your phone or a Bluetooth capable laptop. It would only require a head unit that costs a couple hundred.

    1996 Chevy Tahoe LT 5.7L V8 4X4 205,000+ miles. Built proudly at Janesville Assembly in Janesville, Wisconsin
    Basic mods: Lights all over, bunch of electrical work, and a couple cooling mods.

    Check out my other mods in My Garage:

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